Canon Law (932 §1) stipulates:
M The eucharistic celebration is to be
M carried out in a sacred place,
M unless in a particular case
M necessity requires otherwise;
M in which case the celebration
M must be in a fitting place.
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge • Bishop Burbidge recently banned the Traditional Latin Mass from Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville (as well as most of Arlington diocese). Our president, Jeff Ostrowski, recently shared some personal reflections about the deliberate marginalization of certain groups by clerics in some localities. Bishop Burbidge has ordered that the Holy Mass be celebrated in a gymnasium. The word gymnasium comes from a Greek word meaning “nude”—because Greeks in those days participated in sports without wearing clothes.
Words Have Meaning • There was no necessity—none whatsoever—to marginalize certain Catholics. Indeed, Pope Francis said (26 September 2021): “The Holy Spirit does not want closedness; He wants openness, and welcoming communities where there is a place for everyone. […] We are called to build an increasingly inclusive world that excludes no one.” The whole point of Traditionis Custodes [supposedly] was to reaffirm that each local bishop is “chief liturgist” for his own diocese. In Italy, there are tons of empty churches, oratories, chapels, and so forth—but that is not the case in the United States. Bishop Burbidge should have waited until these Catholics had a chance to construct their own churches (if he was ‘bound and determined’ to marginalize them).
Not One Single Word • Bishop Burbidge justifies marginalizing Summórum Catholics by citing Vatican II: “Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the sacrament of unity.” Yet we are unaware of a single word spoken by Bishop Burbidge seeking to marginalize Catholics who attend the Anglican Ordinariate. Pope Francis has said (31 October 2014): “Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way.” Moreover, the very same document from Vatican II cited by Bishop Burbidge also says: “Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community; rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races and peoples.”
Did Bishop Burbidge Lie? • It’s best not to accuse others of telling a “lie” because perhaps they were deceived into a false belief. That being said, several of the paragraphs in the letter (29 July 2022) by Bishop Burbidge contain egregiously erroneous statements and it’s difficult to know who’s at fault. Was the letter ghostwritten, and did Bishop Burbidge—therefore—unwittingly sign his name? Perhaps one of our authors will publish an article tackling each false statement one-by-one.
Just One Example • The letter from Cardinal Roche said: “Such a celebration should not be included in the parish Mass schedule.” Yet Bishop Burbidge acts as though he’s bound by that letter (he’s not) and misquotes it as: “The parish may not publish the times of the Mass in the usus antiquior in the bulletin or on the parish website or social media sites.” So parish BINGO games can be published on the social media, but what Vatican II called The Source And Summit Of The Christian Life cannot? And Bishop Burbidge is going to police social media? It’s not difficult to see why Bishop Burbidge’s actions toward his flock have been described as “sadistic.” LET THAT SINK IN: Bishop Burbidge says it’s fine to advertise a BINGO GAME in the parish bulletin (or on social media sites or on the parish website), but Bishop Burbidge says it’s forbidden to let people know about the Reënactment of the Sacrifice of Calvary in the bulletin (or on social media sites or on the parish website).
Firefighter To The Rescue • A firefighter named Josh Taylor—who also works for TM&W—felt called to construct an Altar for the gymnasium. Holy Trinity had been the parish where Mr. Taylor came into the Church, went through RCIA, was married—and Father Vander Woude was there every step of the way. After many hours of research and collaboration, Josh designed the Altar to be not only beautiful but liturgically correct. Through hundreds of man hours and all-nighters, they were able to complete the Altar for the first Mass on 11 September 2022.
From the Taylor Milling & Woodworks Facebook page:
“The Altar is made of all locally-sourced black walnut. The design on each side of the Tabernacle is to symbolize the unity of Holy Trinity Parish and the Renaissance Montessori school in Nokesville, who welcomed the TLM with open arms. We would also like to thank all the volunteers who worked countless hours to transform a gym into a beautiful place of worship.”